The best handheld conversions of all time

OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast

Converted from:
Arcade, but specifically PS2 (2006)
Converted to: PSP (2006)

We're always banging on about OutRun. And we're sorry. So let's forget about any love for the game itself and just look at the facts.

OutRun 2 started off life as a state-of-the-art arcade game. Sumo Digital then did a stupendous job getting it to run so flawlessly on the original Xbox. Then came the 2006: Coast 2 Coast edition, which - despite featuring twice as many tracks to race on - made the jump from Xbox to PS2 intact. It wasn't quite as shiny or detailed, because the PS2 was struggling to keep up with the newer arcade technology and the superior Xbox hardware. But it ran it.

Logically, if PS2 was struggling a tad, surely PSP couldn't run it too? Graphics aside, look at the amount of content Sumo had to cram onto that UMD:


Yes, aside from the home version of the game, the entire arcade game itself is in there too, complete with its own modes, car list and unique presentation. The content is identical to the PS2 version to the extent that you can link the two via USB cable to transfer your game save between the two platforms.

Just look at the PS2 version and the PSP version together. It's that tiny wizard got in the UMD slot again, got to be.


From clear blue skies to cloudy hillsides, sun-baked castle walls to snow-covered mountains - nothing is lost. And we even got through that without saying how great OutRun is. Which it is - it's awesome! Oh dammit.


Super Stardust Portable

Converted from:
PS3 (2007)
Converted to: PSP (2008)

A word of advice - if you own a PS3, have access to PSN and haven't got Super Stardust HD, get it right now. And its expansion pack while you're at it - it's even on special offer RIGHT NOW. The Endless mode alone is worth the asking price and it's just a superb shooter, whether in single-player or two-player co-op.

There are moments when you simply won't believe what you're seeing, as the screen fills with hundreds of bullets, enemies and huge chunks of shiny gold. It is constantly beautiful, especially if you like sparkly things. Rumour has it that 32% of downloads have been linked to magpies. That's just under one third.  

Above: Explosion of shiny makes us say 'ooh' like those Toy Story aliens

So if a PlayStation 3 is doing things you won't believe, there's no point expecting a PSP conversion to be exactly the same. It's probably going to be more like the Amiga original, right?

Above: PSP would be able to do this standing on its head. Drunk

No, somehow, it is the same. As in 'identical'. The same planets as PS3. The same weapons as PS3. The same enemies. Bosses. Collectables. Even the special effects are as-near-as-dammit, and although the gold melter's firey tongue is slightly thinner on PSP, a 'weapon overdrive'-powered Ice Melter is just as next-gen spectacular in a vulgar-display-of-power kind of way.

The only compromise is in the camera angle. You no longer see the entire planet you're defending - instead it's zoomed in so you only see part of it. And where the PS3 version lets you shoot bullets around the planet's surface, here anything that goes off the bottom of the screen emerges again at the top. That's all.

Above: The PSP version in full effect. Note the zoomed-in perspective 

Of course, the PS3 version uses twin stick controls to excellent effect, which the PSP simply can't do. This means the controls have been rejigged. Where you would be moving with one stick and shooting with another, the PSP's face buttons are used for directional shooting. You can tap a button repeatedly for a spead of bullets (to emulate analogue control), or hold down all four to mimic the Gold Melter's spiral attack. Easy.

It all works magnificently. You even get used to switching weapons with down on the d-pad, moving your thumb from movement to weapon select to movement in a split-second. And the dash/smart bomb controls on the shoulder buttons are just as intuitive as before.

With a silky-smooth frame-rate, some of the most intense and action-packed moments in all of PSP's library and superb control, the name is right. This is a portable version of Super Stardust, nothing less. Even to the point where you have to buy the expansion (ahem).


  • Imgema - January 13, 2011 8:27 p.m.

    i really enjoyed Doom on GBA. It was kinda slow at times (faster than SNES but slower than 32X), but it was the first time i ever saw a proper FPS engine on a handheld. You could also make the game smoother and less dark by setting the lighting to "static". You couldn't see lights flicker this way, but the game looked overall better on the tiny screen, especially on the original, purple GBA. I also played road rush on a game-gear emulator. I can say i'm really impressed by it. I can only imagine how awesome this could look back then on the GG screen.
  • Xplosive59 - October 6, 2009 5:35 p.m.

    the final fantasy remakes should be on here for the GBA
  • Tomsta666 - September 30, 2009 2:15 p.m.

    I never played the GBA version of Street Fighter Alpha 3, but I do have Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo Revival for GBA. That's pretty tight!!
  • TheWebSwinger - September 30, 2009 5:07 a.m.

    Huzzah! The PSP finally gets some love. Also, one up for the shout out to Road Rash on the Game Gear. Between that and Dynamite Headdy, those were literally the only good Game Gear games I had. And I had quite a few.
  • Spybreak8 - September 29, 2009 11:06 p.m.

    You gotta love that Game Gear, weighed a ton with that bulky battery pack haha.
  • DirkSteele1 - September 29, 2009 9:22 p.m.

    Gunstar Heroes...The single greatest game ever to grace the Megadrive. Did things the console was never meant to be able to do. To see at such a high quality on the Game Gear leaves me speechless.
  • coolbeans - September 29, 2009 2:45 a.m.

    tony hawk pro skater... good times...
  • Weasel - September 29, 2009 1:48 a.m.

    Aw come on, no SNK vs. Capcom for the Neo-Geo pocket color? That was awesome! Though that and Metal Slug were pretty much the only games worth playing on it...
  • doomdoomdoom - September 28, 2009 11:55 p.m.

    @Cyberninja4 Is a shit of a retard "I like pressing buttons" that is the smartest thing he has said He should rename his profile to "Special" or "Fucktard"
  • SgtPoppenfresh - September 28, 2009 11:50 p.m.

    GTA Chinatown Wars should be in there... but then again thats modern. Although they did make a GTA on gba sooo that back-ups my point.
  • Dalibor - September 28, 2009 11:50 p.m.

    "Sometimes it pays to check - it was Gamedalf all along." I don't know why but that made me crack up, the culprit has been found lol.
  • phoenix_wings - September 28, 2009 11:41 p.m.

    lol @ destroyerofall. For sure, man. I personally thought that Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past was pretty awesome. Same with Super Mario 64 DS edition. Awesome list though.
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - September 28, 2009 11:23 p.m.

    Great list! I would also like to add Metroid Prime Hunters, which manages to convert he robust ideas of Prime into a DS FPS... in early 2006. It's a true technical marvel.
  • Cyberninja - September 28, 2009 11:22 p.m.

    can someone tell me why there is a cyberninja4 that doesnt like games does it exist only to mock me and make me look bad?
  • destroyerofall - September 28, 2009 8:48 p.m.

    @ xboxrulez Are u retarded or what? Every single comment u post is a bastardization of the english language.
  • iKOemos - September 28, 2009 8:33 p.m.

    Why am I only finding out about GBA Doom now!? It looks superb.
  • cubeenigma - September 28, 2009 8:28 p.m.

    does mario 64 DS count? lttp for gba ? :[
  • WonsAuto - September 28, 2009 7:44 p.m.

    Great article. I loved THPS2 on GBA, it was great when I couldn't get my fix on my PSX. I still have it lying around somewhere...
  • Cyberninja4 - September 28, 2009 7:23 p.m.

    the only game here i like is tekken its easy to mash the buttons and win
  • AA95mp - September 28, 2009 6:47 p.m.

    people are going to disagree with me but..... i think the lord of the rings the two towers is much better than the ps2 version as in it's more of an rpg.

Showing 1-20 of 29 comments

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